Aristotle's Revelation of the Platonic View

Topics: Aristotle, Platonism, Plato Pages: 4 (1628 words) Published: January 26, 2011
Aristotle’s Revelation of the Platonic View

Does the world really exist? If it does exist, what caused its existence? Those are a few epistemological questions that may be pondered about by many people throughout one’s life. Those are questions that have to do with the origin of knowledge, and figuring out the truth to that knowledge. Plato and Aristotle are considered to be two of the greatest philosophers of their time, and they both inquired about the existence of being, and how things came to be. In which they attempt to do so in Plato’s “Republic Book VI” and “Aristotle’s Metaphysics’s book XII.” Although their views may seem different at first, when compared and contrasted, one will definitely find that there are many similarities to be found.

Plato’s “Republic” displays Socrates attempts to explain to Glaucon what the Good truly is, and what role it plays. It is exclaimed by Socrates that one cannot truly and completely understand what the Good can be, because it is beyond human comprehension; therefore, he relates its functions and meaning to the Sun, which is considered by him to be the offspring of the Good, or better known as the form of the Good. He uses an analogy relating the Good of the intelligible world to the Sun of the visible world. According to Socrates, “Neither sight nor the eye which contains it is the Sun, but of all the sense-organs it is the most sun-like; and further, the power it possesses is dispensed by the Sun, like a stream flooding the eye. And again, the Sun is not vision, but it is the cause of vision and also is seen by the vision it causes.” The Sun is known to be the source of all light, and the cause of vision in the visible world. Without the light the sun provides the eye would lose its function to see, because there would be no illumination to distinguish the color nor shape of the tangible objects. Yet the Sun is not the act of vision itself, nor is it the function of the eye. Not only is the sun responsible for...
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